I Love Her   Leave a comment

I’ve been reading and writing and playing WOW. I have been passing time, thinking of what I’d like to do at some other juncture. I started therapy and I’m trying to make the most of the opportunity. It feels weird to try, to attempt to improve. I still haven’t given up on the idea of work. I don’t want to aim for disability. I want to strive for eventual employment because I am still hopeful that with some structure and discipline I can fit into the world instead of merely witnessing it. But I am also not demanding the impossible. If I can’t fix this, I won’t disappear or dissolve. I’ll keep getting help, making the most of myself and settle for disability only after knowing I gave it my all.

The book I’m currently reading is very unlike my normal read. I took “god is not Great” by the late Christopher Hitchens out of the library two days ago and I am completely invested in it. I am renewed and frightened at the same time. But it’s definitely given me a lot to think about.

I’ve been writing a story. I’m not sure just how it’s going to work out, but it’s the most honest thing I’ve ever written without it being the least bit factual. It’s pure fiction, but it’s based on people, places and situations that I know extremely well. That’s new for me and I am finding it very invigorating.

With my gaming, I am trying to stay some what focused. My friends and I have branched off and formed a new guild and I am very pleased with how things are shaping up. It takes effort for me to stay consistent with not only playing, but being social and approachable. I am using this experience not only to make the most of my hobby, but to challenge myself in a way that I cannot currently in “real time”. But I am hoping that the skills and lessons learned will be applicable to other areas of my life and therefore worthwhile.

I think the main thing in my life right now that seems the most overwhelming is my relationship with my girlfriend. She is trying to quit smoking cigarettes, something that has long been a serious issue for me, and while I am proud of her progress I am often put in the position of the enemy. I know addiction well enough from my own bouts with substance abuse and from dealing with my father to know that many of her emotions and objections towards me are really her fleshing out the situation she is battling. And while I am doing better at being firm, logical and patient with her outbursts and attacks, I keep thinking that at some point everything will have to get easier.

Right now, she is accusing me of being too controlling and overbearing and while I would not argue that I am being both controlling and overbearing, I would strongly defend my actions by saying that they are by far not too much. I am surprised at her inability to see the situation from my point of view, but I feel that to worry too much about her understanding my intentions would merely put me in a weakened position; a submissive position where it would not be my girlfriend in control, but her addiction and I have backed down to these fears too many times in the last year to not see them for what they are.

I truly love my girlfriend. We are far from perfect as a couple, but I do believe that we show each other more love and compassion then either of us have ever experienced in any other relationship, romantic or otherwise, before in our lives. I admit that I have been most careless with my health and stability throughout my life and while I understand that there is much more involved with breaking these nasty cycles and habits then merely stating that I want and need to make a change, I would be a fool to think that anything of substance or value could ever develop in any sort of meaningful fashion without a clear and decisive call for action.

My issues are plain to see. I have a severe weight problem which compounds with the addition of diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, asthma and emotional issues. I have mental health disorders; borderline personality disorder, anxiety, PTSD and obsessive-compulsive disorder to name a few because I truthfully do not yet know all of what is going on inside of my head. I am in debt, have not worked in well over a year, have no health insurance and currently torture myself over what I feel to be an insufficient attempt to care for my mother who has stage 4 cancer and my grand mother who, in the last year, has shown signs of her own major mental health crisis.

Foolishly, but with the best of intentions and with a most sincere heart, I pinned all of my efforts and plans in which I would tackle these mounting concerns on the fact that my girlfriend and I were both going to fervently attack the obstacles in our lives together and as a team. She asked me in the beginning of our relationship to start taking better care of myself and when she asked, I felt loved, for perhaps the first time in my life. Looking back now, I do realize that my life needs to be about my own motivations and I cannot attach my failures, anymore than I would want to credit my successes, on the back of another. Even with all of her love and devotion, the things that are wrong with me are wrong with me and therefore only I will be the one to take them on and fix them.

Having said that, the complete and earnest truth is that without her love, her commitment, her investment in me, I would not have found anything in myself worth the effort of saving. The task may be mine alone, but I found my personal salvation in her selfless dedication.

It is because of all of this that I want to do whatever I can to insure that she does, in fact, quit smoking this time. My girlfriend does not have a long list of things that she wants or needs to repair. She too has asthma and some severe back problems which causes near constant pain, so watching her weight is important, but she isn’t someone with a weight problem to begin with. At this point, it’s more about merely being on top of the issue so that it doesn’t become an obstacle in the future.

There are other minor concerns that need to be tackled, but they aren’t anything all that limiting or pressing so basically, my girl has taken me on with a long list of troubles without so much as a second thought and for that I am incredibly grateful. I know it has been said to me that I am signing up for a hard road ahead because of her pain which could very well last forever and only get worse, but I don’t look at love as something you negotiate or itemize. And I think that it’s abundantly clear that she doesn’t either or else should wouldn’t have settled for someone with the damage and complications that I have presented.

But cigarettes are a big deal and I will break it down as to why.

First, let’s just get the stupid yet incredibly significant issue of money out of the way. Cigarettes are ridiculously expensive and we are on a very tight budget. Even if I started working or did get disability, the additional income would become a wash because at the start of more money comes many more monthly bills. We simply cannot afford the addiction.

Secondly, the most selfish reasons that I have. I not only have asthma, but cigarette smoke wreaks havoc with my allergies. My eyes water, my throat burns, my nose runs, I cough and usually wind up getting some nasty bronchitis. When steps are taken so that I am not around the smoke, I am left constantly so that she can disappear to be with her crutch. In the middle of a conversation, an argument, a movie, you name it, I get left so that she can wonder off and puff when she feels the need. And yes, I know that the second part of that point sounds silly, but it makes me feel so unimportant to know that the person who loves me the most would rather sit in the living room with people she can’t stand in a house that is uncomfortable and dirty more than to do the work needed to break this unhealthy, expensive habit. It sounds silly because it is silly. But I am seriously affected by the situation, both emotionally as well as my health in general.

Thirdly, and these set of concerns are really the most important to me and without them I would not be able to be so determined and justified in my actions, my girlfriend. I mentioned already that I love her. What else needs to be said? Apparently a lot since this does not get understood, respected, valued and appreciated the way that it should. And yes, I mean every word of that. I, for the life of me, do not begin to fathom how my girlfriend can see this situation for anything other than it is. I love her with all of my heart and want her to live a long life beside me, being as healthy and as happy and as free to love and experience life as possible. I don’t want her to develop a worse case of asthma. I don’t want her to get emphysema or COPD like my mother. I don’t want to have to take her to chemotherapy or for radiation treatments when she gets any of the long list of cancers that are so closely linked to cigarettes. I don’t want her to further diminish her bone density the way cigarettes are known to because the amount of pain she is currently in is already more than is fair. I don’t want her to be a nervous wreck just because she can’t light up and suck on something that is doing absolutely nothing else for her but killing her, slowly, but entirely. I want her to be able to sit for the length of a conversation or car ride without needing to submit to the dominance of her cigarettes, stuffed in a pack like bullets in a gun, aimed and waiting for her to pull the trigger on her lighter. I want her to look in the mirror and feel the same dedication and devotion to her own well being that she says she feels for me and mine. I want her to believe that a long life is not a jail sentence in a world that she doesn’t want to live in because she told me that I was worth living for and I want her to mean it and I want her to understand it for what it is; a promise.

I love my girlfriend. And I know that in so many ways her addiction and affinity for cigarettes is not about me. She’s been smoking for a very long time, long before I was in her life. And maybe I need to remind myself almost on a constant basis that we can’t know what we haven’t been taught, so maybe she can’t know how to stand up for herself the way she undeniably stands up for everyone else when they come under fire. No one has ever loved me enough to make my health their priority before, so I had a very hard time accepting it and appreciating it at first. And I know that it was not merely her love that gave me the strength I needed to seriously contemplate how to make changes and how to reach deeper inside to find motivation and purpose. I had to want it. I had to see something worth fighting for, worth protecting. And maybe my girlfriend doesn’t have a lost little girl inside of her just begging for someone to finally reach back when she reaches up. But I do. And now that she is awakened she only wants to feel that love, that level of connection and devotion and promise.

It may just be a matter of time. It may just take longer or maybe it’s a slightly different path for her and I just need to be patient and available for who ever it is inside that is reaching for me, regardless of who I was expecting. I love my girlfriend, so who ever it is that I need to find for her to be as comforted by the promise we’ve made each other as my lost little girl is by that same promise, that is who I am looking for.

It’s not just about smoking. It’s not just about habits and money and control. This is more than a symbol; it’s the very act of our love fighting for the future it deserves. And I feel sorry for anyone who sees it as anything less, anything other.

I love my girlfriend and because of her I am seeing life as something worth living, something worth the effort. I am worth the effort. And I believe, with all of my heart, that she is too.

I am just waiting for her to see it.

Until then, I am reading and writing and playing WOW. And loving her, always.

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